In order to deal properly with constipation we need to understand and — if possible — remove the underlying causes and risk factors. We need to ask: "What else is going on inside the body that might allow constipation to develop?"
Accurate diagnosis of the factors behind constipation consists of three steps:
|Inadequate Fiber Intake||25%||Unlikely|
|Increased Intestinal Permeability||13%||Unlikely|
|Mesenteric Ischemia||0%||Ruled out|
|Stomach Cancer||0%||Ruled out|
|Irritable Bowel Syndrome||0%||Ruled out|
|Mercury Toxicity||0%||Ruled out|
Do you suffer from constipation?
Possible responses:→ Not applicable / don't know
→ No, I usually pass at least one stool per day
→ Yes, I often have a day with no bowel movement
→ Yes, I often go 2-3 days with no bowel movement
→ Yes, I often go 3+ days with no bowel movement
This connection is discussed in the link between constipation and stress.
Authorities recommend that Americans get "at least 30-35 grams" [Gastroenterology 118 (2000): p.1233] of fiber each day "from foods, not from supplements." [Circulation. 102 (2000): p.2284] The initial phase of Atkins' diet, which dieters may have to repeatedly return to, has about 2gm of fiber per day. [Atkins, RC. Dr. Atkins New Diet Revolution. Avon Books, 1999]
The May 2004 Annals of Internal Medicine study showed once again that most of the Atkins Dieters are constipated and headachy.
Mural fibroids (located in the uterine wall) and subserous fibroids (protrude outside the uterine wall) may reach a large size before causing symptoms. These symptoms may include pressure on the bladder with difficulty voiding or urinary frequency and urgency, pressure on the rectum with constipation, lower back and abdominal pain, as well as heavy or irregular bleeding during periods.
Chronic constipation is an early sign of fluorosis.
Constipation is often a problem, due to the reduced activity of the intestines, change of diet, weakened stomach muscles that resist efforts by the patient to express the intestinal content.
Constant constipation is a sign of hypothyroidism.
In a study of 34 women with chronic constipation, investigators led by Dr. Anton Emmanuel and colleagues at St. Mark's Hospital in Middlesex linked emotional distress with changes in the nerve pathway that helps control gut function. They say the findings suggest a specific path through which psychological factors directly influence the digestive system.
The researchers compared the patients, who had suffered bouts of constipation for an average of 21 years, with a group of women with no history of gastrointestinal illness. All took standard tests that measure psychological symptoms such as anxiety and depression, self-image, social functioning and ability to form intimate relationships.
Women with chronic constipation were more likely than healthy women to report anxiety, depression and feeling less "feminine". They also found it harder to form close relationships. [Gut Aug 2001;49: pp.209-213]